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Economic growth is as American as apple pie and as popular as pizza. It has also, according to conservation biologist Czech, reached its limits and had led to "economic bloat," doing irreversible harm to the environment and literally destroying the future for the next generations. The main culprits here are mainstream, "neoclassical" economists (and also the political and economic elite supporting them) who through arcane theorization insist there are no limits to growth. Czech does a marvelous job of skewering the assumptions behind this notion and of introducing and synthesizing the perspectives of the opposing field, "environmental economics," which offers in the place of unbridled growth a "steady state" economy of low production and consumption and stable population. Moving through sometimes difficult ideas like "substitutability," "trophic levels" and "carrying capacity," Czech is always clear but never condescending, serious but not without humor. Agree with him or not, he is eminently clear. Yet it all falls apart when he discusses what might be done. Given the severity of the ecological crisis Czech finds us in, his recommendation that public opinion should shame conspicuous consumers among the rich into changing their ways is both vague and tepid. Missing are analyses of public policy options and considerations of political strategies that are as focused and nuanced as his critiques. Too bad, for when he's on his gameAin the first part of the bookAhe's as good at popularizing economics as Carl Sagan was science. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I was drawn to this book after it was suggested as an alternative here at Amazon to a so-called "perpetual growth" tome (a book, by the way, that actually points to no... Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2003
Shoveling Fuel For A Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, And A Plant To Stop Them All by Brian Czech (Adjunct Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State... Read morePublished on July 26 2003 by Midwest Book Review
It is a curiosity of modern economic thought that some people--Brian Czech identifies them as "neoclassical" economists, led in part by the late Julian Simon--think there is no end... Read morePublished on May 18 2003 by Dennis Littrell
Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train will educate, enlighten, and even entertain you --- an accomplishment for any book, but an especially notable achievement when you consider that... Read morePublished on March 29 2003 by Tw Rutledge
"Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train" states a dire dilemma that affects us all. Not only is the problem clearly stated, but the solution comprises the second half of the book: a... Read morePublished on March 23 2003 by Shannon S. Shiflett
I'm grateful to the author for providing me with a copy of this well-written book and for penning it in such a snappy and easily comprehended style. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2003 by Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA
I am a visiting assistant professor in biology at a small liberal arts college north of Chicago. I teach an environmental biology course based on Miller's popular... Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2003 by Timothy C. Morton
The book has its moments. Including most of the first 106 pages, although there were a few "huh?'s" I had reading them. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2002 by Amanda Peck